Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful destinations you can visit in Central America. You can tell by its crystal clear water and white-sanded beaches. Pair it up with its rich biodiversity and green jungle fields, and you have a tropical paradise!
There is truly so much you can see and do in Costa Rica. Even if you're also looking for a good time, Costa Rican nightlife won't disappoint you after a long day of exploring the great outdoors. One trip is not enough to see what the country has to offer.
While you're looking for an area to stay in Costa Rica, many will want to match their accommodations to the beautiful sceneries right outside. While the country has a rich portfolio of hotels and resorts to pick from, some budget-conscious backpackers cannot afford to stay in them.
I've also been in that situation. Sometimes sacrificing for a budget stay is necessary to maximize the number of things to do while you're traveling. But who says you need to compromise much?
I've compelled a list of some of the most beautiful yet cheap hostels in Costa Rica for you to enjoy the aesthetics of your vacation even more. Grab something to make notes with and discover the details of each of the great stays!
Learn more from the rest of our Costa Rica series…
- Navigate Costa Rican airports like a local
- Find the best areas to stay
- Don’t miss out on these local spots—the best places to go in Costa Rica
- Add these exciting things to do to your trip plan
- Make time for a few guided tours during your adventure
- Spend the night out enjoying Costa Rica’s nightlife
- Want to simplify your planning? Follow this 5-day itinerary or 7-day trip plan
- Get our tips on budget travel in Costa Rica
- Discover the best advice for backpackers going to Costa Rica
- Find more helpful information if you’re a solo traveler
- Remember, camping in Costa Rica is also a great option!
- Dive into our snorkeling guide—essential tips and advice before you go
Top 7 Hostels in Costa Rica
7. TamaHostel & Glamping (Tamarindo)
When I first found this hostel, I absolutely fell in love with TamaHostel's concept.
TamaHostel & Glamping is an amazing hostel located within a short distance of the heart of downtown Tamarindo and the gorgeous Tamarindo beaches.
TamaHostel & Glamping offers not just the traditional hostel rooms at a fantastic price but also an option to stay at one of their great Glamping tents.
TamaHostel offers the classic hostel-like single beds in dormitory fashion but also allows travelers to upgrade for a private room or their Glamping tents.
I'd highly recommend you choose the tent option, because why not? Staying in one of their great tents brings you closer to Tamarindo but indulges in a luxurious glamping feel. The tents come with a large double bed and a desk, suitable for young couples!
Aside from their tents, TamaHostel also offers surfing board rentals, surf classes, a swimming pool, and a bar. This hostel is perfect if you're looking to de-stress or relax, as the hostel gives off a chill, relaxed vibe with minimal partying.
6. Arenal Backpackers Resort (La Fortuna)
Arenal Backpackers Resort is the perfect spot for those who love to feel at peace with nature. It has a pool surrounded by trees, tents with wooden floors, and dorm rooms for those on a tighter budget.
It is a five-star resort for a hostel price, close to the Arenal Volcano National Park! The facility offers a restaurant and bar, within walking distance from La Fortuna's town center, with more options to eat and drink.
This hostel is perfect for solo travelers who want to socialize with other like-minded individuals. And for those who wish to embark on jungle adventures, the hostel offers hiking tours to take you to hot springs, hanging bridges, and blue river rides.
5. Playa 506 (Puerto Viejo)
Playa 506 is one of the most beautiful hostels on this list! It is incredibly close to the beach where you can spend your days relaxing by the sand and surfing the ocean waves. This party hostel is the definition of a vacation to Costa Rica: adventurous, relaxing, and upbeat, all at once.
At night, prepare for parties with DJs, lots of reggae music, and a happy hour that extends until the sun comes up. The dorms are pretty affordable and comfortable, perfect for getting some rest.
The staff here is also very welcoming and will help you with surf lessons, tours to local waterfalls, and bike rentals so you can explore the town on your own.
4. Hostel Plinio (Manuel Antonio)
In the middle of the jungle and looking over the Manuel Antonio National Park, you will find Hostel Plinio, a tropical paradise for those who love the quietness of nature.
They have a swimming pool and a garden area perfect for relaxation, with dorms and private rooms. Complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, a laundry room, and a kitchen are all part of the deal!
On top of that, they also have a tacos bar. Yes, tacos bar!!
Although this hostel is not much party-oriented, you can still meet travelers from all over the world who are also looking for some peaceful time in the forest. You can book one of the hostel's tours and explore the national park, or relax by the pool if you feel like it. The possibilities are endless!
3. Capital Hostel de Ciudad (San Jose)
Capital Hostel de Ciudad will enchant you If you are a fan of design and beautiful spaces. Their delicate colors and boho-minimalistic decoration are a fresh perspective on Costa Rican accommodations so far.
The dorms here really stand out by the way they're elaborated, with pods that give you privacy in a shared space. The hostel is located in a quieter part of town, giving you a true stress-free night of sleep.
However, don't be mistaken thinking this will be a dull social experience! This hostel is pretty sociable, especially in the common areas, with plenty of board games, musical instruments, and a pool table.
2. Wave Trotter Guest House (Santa Teresa)
A paradise for surfers, this beach hostel is the ideal accommodation for those who love to catch waves and relax afterward. Wave Trotter Guest House is a carefree hostel, with hammocks tied to the trees where sometimes you can see a monkey or two passing by!
If surfing during the day and partying with other backpackers at night sounds like a good plan to you, this hostel is where you need to be! They have a big kitchen where guests can prepare their meals, different room options, and a large common area where people hand out after a long day at the beach.
The staff here is very attentive and offers surf trips to help you find the best waves in the area.
Compare prices, check features, and book now: HostelWorld
1. The Selina Hostels (Various Locations)
Selina is a chain of hostels that operates worldwide, having ten different hostels in Costa Rica alone! Their hostels are all known for being beautiful places to stay, capturing the true essence of the cities they occupy, and offering top-notch amenities and accommodations.
Selina Hostels are also known for their surf culture and programs, perfect for the Costa Rican environment. Their beach-side hotels also offer guests surf classes and gear rentals. Regardless of whether you're a pro surfer or just starting out, they've got just the right resources to let you catch some waves!
Here are some of the best Selinas we highly recommend!
Selina Puerto Viejo: Best overall!
Selina San Jose: Best for digital nomads!
Selina Jaco: Best for beach lovers!
Selina Tamarindo: Best for pet-friendly travelers or surf lessons!
Selina Santa Teresa North: Best for a detox/getaway!
The rooms in every unit are highly creative and well taken care of. With a healthy mix of dorms and individual rooms, they attend to every type of backpacker out there.
Since I couldn't pick which one of their Costa Rican hotels to add to this list, I decided to add them all!
Find Your Best Hostel With Pilot!
With so many hostel options to pick from, it can be a little hard to find the one that better fits your price range and preferences. Let Pilot help you through the process of planning every step of your vacation!
To help keep your trip to Costa Rica organized, Make sure you're using a trip planner that works.